Music is something that is a part of everyone’s lives. No matter what region you are from in the United States, music has touched your life and you connect to it. In different regions, different genres are more popular. While many believe Hip-Hop and R&B are the only music genres created by African-Americans, you are sorely mistaken.
Rock and Roll
Rock and Roll is one of the most popular genres worldwide and it was created by black men and women in the south. Artists such as Big Mama Thornton and Chuck Berry were some of the first artists to create the rock and roll sound. Even though African-Americans created this sound, they were often let out of the conversation or erased. For example, Elvis Presely’s first major hit Hound Dog, wasn’t his but a cover of Big Mama Thornton’s song. It wasn’t until recently that this became a well known fact. Chuck Berry is one of the pioneers of rock for his singing style and also his incredible guitar playing. The Chuck Berry lick has been recreated by many artists including the Rolling Stones.
This timeless genre was created by African-Americans in the south after slavery. Artists such as Muddy Waters and B.B. King and my personal favorite Howlin’ Wolf sang songs of the black experience in America. The slow tempo and easy to follow beat became a roaring success in America. It was created by a combination of work songs sung on plantations, gospel hymns and simply expressing your daily life to a slow rhythm. Not only did this genre change the way music was created, but it gave birth to other genres. Without artists such as B.B. King and Buddy Guy expressing themselves in this creative way, Rock and Roll and R&B wouldn’t exist.
Although most musicians believe that Germans created techno, African-American youth in Detroit were the first to create and perfect the sound. Towards the end of the disco age, African-American youth in Detroit began to experiment with drum machines, altering and destroying popular songs. The first techno song released titled Sharevari was released by the Detroit group, A Number of Names.
These genres are established and popular in American culture but without the creative minds of these African-American women and men, some of the most popular genres in music history would cease to exist.